Monday, August 31, 2015

New School Year, New Mission to Struggle with Race

Now that the focus of my work centers around helping young middle-schoolers figure out who they are and what they want to become, I have felt an increased urge to think about my own identity. As I build relationships with new students and converse with them about their struggles, I want to be able to share my own journey and perhaps some of the strategies that I have used through the years to help me figure things out.  The discussions that I have had with students over the last few years have revealed that students travel a vastly different path to owning their identity than I have.  During these conversations, I have done more listening and reacting than "preaching".  More than anything I have been inspired to see how connected students seem to feel to one another and the fluidity with which they move in and out of social circles.

I aspire to see my own boys be able to parachute into any social situation as comfortably as some of the students who I've recently sent off to college.  To that end, they need to be able to understand #BlackLivesMattter and #BringBackOurGirls, the significance of #JeSuisCharlie and the dynamics of #FreePalestine.  To prepare for those conversations I will have with my boys and their peers, I am going to use this space moving forward to post historical facts about the African Diaspora of which I am a proud member.  Nothing has helped me gain a sense of who I am and pushed me to keep moving forward than knowing the heritage of which I am a part .  The more I understand about that legacy, the greater sense of purpose I have.  My mission is to inspire a similar sense of purpose in my boys and all young people with whom I come into contact so that travelling the identity path doesn't have to be so difficult.

FACT:  Ancient Nubia, a civilization dating to over 300,000 years ago, was originally named 
"Ta Sety", meaning "Land of the Bow"

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